Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jay Jay Okocha Laments Fallen National Team

Nigeria are no longer a giant in African football, the players are over-rated and officials have failed in their responsibilities, according to the country's former skipper Austin 'Jay Jay'.

"Everything is wrong, right from the players, coaches and the management. And the fans expect too much," moaned Okocha as a guest on a programme of pay television channel SuperSport.

"The best way forward is for Nigerians to accept that we are no longer one of the giants in African football as we have lost the dominance.

"We must also accept the fact that Nigeria does not possess the kind of talents we used to have and we must go back and get our football administration right."

Nigeria are presently ranked fourth in Africa by FIFA, but the last time the team won a major championship was 17 years ago when they clinched only their second Africa Nations Cup in Tunisia.

Okocha, who led Nigeria to the 2002 World Cup, was most critical of the current crop of the country's stars, saying they have struggled to establish themselves at their various European clubs.

"Our players are overrated. When you look at the way they play for their various clubs, I don't think we have up to five players who are regulars at their clubs," said the 37-year-old Okocha now a Lagos businessman since he quit the game in 2008.

"Take Yakubu Aiyegbeni example. He's one of Nigeria's finest but he has not been consistent maybe because of his injury which has of course slowed him down.

"And you can't tell me that his recent loan move from Everton to Championship team Leicester City is a good one, rather your desire as a player is to play in the top class league."

Okocha has now been appointed to head a scouting unit of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to discover fresh talent for the country.

Daily Trust

Related stories:  Jay Jay Okocha appointed Football Ambassador

 Jay Jay Okocha admits it will take a miracle for Super Eagles to qualify for the World

No comments:

Post a Comment